«Power tends to isolate those who hold too much of it. Eventually, they lose touch with reality … and fall.»
«Dune Messiah» by Frank Herbert
There are currently a lot of protests in Germany against the government. We have the «Ampel-Regierung» — literally: «traffic light government». So-called due to the three parties currently in a coalition and the colors associated with them: red = social democrats, yellow = free democrats, green = green party.
Looking at their performance, the protests are expected. There are ways to kill a country faster, but even that would require some level of competence. One huge warning sign was that the politicians are calling their government the best republic we ever had. They see themselves as good, as the best — which means they are not open to seeing their errors or correcting them. Many of the politicians would have to receive unemployment benefits if they were not in politics (e.g., no job training or college drop-outs). And regarding what their parties should stand for and what they are doing, it’s essentially the opposite: The social democrats should be for the worker, but those are icky and unwashed, so they do not care about them anymore. The free democrats should be for commerce, but they threw many companies under the bus (they are bending over for whoever is in power). And the green should protect the environment, instead they are killing it due to blind ideological adherence.
So, there are good reasons to be against the current German government. Unfortunately, they also have the media under their thumb — via funding they control — so protests and criticism is framed as undemocratic (somewhat ironic) or right-wing. The later is a death-sentence in Germany due to its history, although that is currently changing. More and more people simply do not care anymore about being called right-wing. It is rapidly losing its power.
While I agree with the protests, I am not that convinced that the protests will achieve that much. Hopefully I am wrong, but I wonder whether they actually hit the ones in charge. I mean, there are ways to stop politicians, even those that do not require a high-powered rifle and a scope.
Politicians are essentially motivated by power. They want to be in charge, be respected, feel influential, make decisions. And that is also their weakness — they fear everything that reduces their power. And it is not only elections that can do that.
Protests are bad for them because people visibly do not follow their lead. At least, if the media reports about it. And even if not, well, at least in the mayor cities, the protests are loud enough that the controlled media does not really matter. But that is a rather indirect way to hit them. Additionally, the risk with protests is that it hits the wrong people: the general public. If they cannot go to work, get their children, or even just buy groceries, the overall mood could flip. Currently that does not seem to be a problem, with 90% of the public being in favor of the protests, and the protests themselves being peaceful (actually peaceful, not CNN-mostly peaceful). They are respectful of other peoples property and time (in contrast to the obnoxious climate gluers). But still, the protests should focus on the government buildings and the German capital.
I also wonder whether another strategy might not be better, or at least a good addition. Politicians also do not like to made to look like a fool — which often only requires a mirror. A fool does not have any power. You do neither follow nor respect a fool. So politicians are highly interested in never losing face. There is a reason why the German minister of commerce doesn’t want to be called a «children’s book author» (which he is and which he better stayed — sorry, kids). And to be fair, given his performance, many children’s book authors would not like to be called «minister of commerce». But yeah, public ridicule — showing them for the incompetent idiots they are, that probably hits closer to home.
Normally that would be the media’s task — the modern fool showing the people in power that they are only humans. But most of the media is bought, so, how about some memes on social media? How about some flyers?
How about some public ridicule?